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Pasco County’s Long History of Nude Running

suzanneWhen the Caliente Resort hosts the eighth-annual Caliente Bare Dare 5K presented by Pasco County on Sunday, May 7, it will mark the latest chapter in Tampa Bay’s long history of clothing-optional races.

More than 400 runners are expected to converge on Caliente in Pasco County for what has become the largest clothing-optional race in North America, an event that since 2012 has determined the National Championship of Nude Running.

Many runners have attended the Caliente Bare Dare 5K as a one-and-done, bucket-list race only to return again after enjoying the all-day, post-race party at Caliente, which features seven swimming pools, multiple bars, restaurant, and an upscale clubhouse. The race has drawn runners from an average of 25 states over the last three years. Though runners from all levels participate, the course-record times (15:49 male, 17:53 female) are comparable to those of much larger events.

Nude running in Central Florida began in 1993 when the Lake Como nudist resort, also in Pasco County, debuted the “Dare to Go Bare 5K.” Sabrina Vizzari, the club’s 20-year-old activities director at the time, wanted an event similar to those she had seen while living in Washington state.

The Lake Como event grew gradually and in 1998 drew more than 300 runners due to a marketing partnership with Tampa’s news radio 970 AM, which re-branded itself for the week leading up to the event as “Nude Radio 970.” The race attracts a smaller field these days (135 last year), but still boasts a scenic course on both asphalt and trails. This year’s event, the 25th annual, takes place on April 9.

Paradise Lakes, located adjacent to Lake Como along US 41 in Lutz, for years held a 5K the weekend before Thanksgiving. More recently, the clothing-optional resort has held occasional 5K races at various times of the year.

In 2011, the Cypress Cove nudist resort in Kissimmee launched the “Streak the Cove 5K,” which has attracted between 150 and 200 runners annually to the Orlando area resort. But it’s the Caliente Bare Dare 5K, which debuted a year earlier in 2010 that has become the signature event on the nude racing calendar.

runningtrio2By holding a clothing-optional race at the upscale Caliente Resort and marketing it to the mainstream running community, the Caliente Bare Dare 5K draws a larger crowd than typical nudist club races. Many runners have remarked that they’ve set personal 5K records by competing at Caliente, where the course takes runners on paths along lakes and through the resort’s upscale residential area. All but a 50-yard grassy section is on asphalt.

Unlike most running events, where runners depart shortly after the race or the awards ceremony, most runners stay all day since admission to Caliente is included with the race entry fee, making the event one of the best values in endurance sports. Last year, race organizers replaced the traditional race T-shirt with a 30×60 beach towel and plans to do so again this year.

Though photography and video is prohibited at the race for obvious privacy reasons, several journalists have participated in the event and written about their experiences.

Jessica Sebor, the editor of Women’s Running magazine, became the inaugural female winner of the National Championship of Nude Running in 2012 and wrote about the experience.

“I know it’s going to take more than one Sunday morning to cure my self-consciousness,” she wrote about running nude. “But running the Bare Dare did teach me this: If you don’t challenge yourself, you will never have the chance to be crowned a champion.”

 

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Race of the Week: Streak the Cove 5K

By Pete Williams

Streak the Cove II

Endurance athletes looking for a bucket list event the weekend of May 19-20 in greater Orlando have several options. There’s the Goruck Challenge, perhaps the toughest event in endurance sports, and Ironman 70.3, which has moved this year from its longtime Disney home to Haines City.

We’re big fans of Goruck and triathlon, but when it comes to memorable, brag-to-your-friends events, we’ll put our own clothing-optional Streak the Cove 5K up against everything. Our second-annual race, which drew 170 runners last year, returns for a two-loop run through the tree-lined neighborhoods of the Cypress Cove Resort on Sunday, May 20 at 8:30 a.m.

Though more than 80 percent of runners go nude, you may wear as much or as little as you like. (Shoes and sunscreen recommended.)

When Cypress Cove opened as a nudist resort in 1964, it was nestled on a two-lane road among cow pastures and orange groves. These days, there’s a Lowe’s home improvement store across the street, part of a bustling Orlando suburb. “The Cove,” meanwhile, has upgraded its facilities over the years and now has a sprawling pool complex and 80-plus hotel rooms to go with its beautiful lakeside setting

Name of Race: Streak the Cove 5K

History: Second-annual event that drew 170 runners last year. Streak the Cove is organized by Enterprise Media LLC, which also puts on the popular Caliente Bare Dare 5K, which takes place Sept. 30.

Format: Two-loop course through the shady neighborhoods of Cypress Cove. Race ends at the resort’s sprawling pool complex.

Amenities: Red Tultex T-shirts. Commemorative mini-bottles of wine to the top 20 male and top 20 female finishers age 21 and over. Goody bags before the race and post-race refreshment poolside, along with deejay and raffle drawings. Entry fee gets you into the resort for the entire day.

Signature Features: Um, it’s a clothing-optional race.

Projected Turnout: 200

Cost: $30 via online registration which closes at 11:59 p.m ET on Thursday, May 17. Raceday registration available for $35.

Sign-Up: Via IMAthlete

Read fitness blogger Meghann Anderson’s first-person account of racing the 2012 Streak the Cove 5K HERE.

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Surging Interest in Caliente Bare Dare 5K

By Pete Williams

Will you take The Bare Dare?

With just two months to go before the second-annual Caliente Bare Dare 5K on October 9 at 8:30 a.m, race registration is 500 percent ahead of last year’s pace, when 200 runners took the inaugural clothing-optional Bare Dare.

Does this mean we’ll maintain pace and draw 1,000 runners? Hard to say, but clearly people are embracing this true “bucket list” event. That weekend (Oct. 8-9), you could spend thousands of dollars in equipment, travel, and entry fees to become one of tens of thousands of people to complete the Hawaii Ironman in Kona. You could spend more than a $1,000 to travel to Chicago and be among 20,000 runners in the Chicago Marathon.

OR you could compete in a bragging-rights race you’ll really remember. Compete in the race and enjoy a full day at Caliente, America’s most upscale clothing-optional resort, for only the cost of your entry fee: (just $25 through Aug. 31). Last year’s race attracted 200 runners from 13 states and Canada and a field that was 38 percent female – a higher percentage than a typical 5K run. This is the hottest race on the Florida calendar. It’s Caliente, after all. You can do a tri or marathon anytime. Don’t miss your shot at the Bare Dare!

Why nude running? Many runners enjoy the freedom of competing only in shoes and sunscreen. Last year, Competitor magazine mentioned running a clothing-optional 5K among its “runners bucket list.” Sponsors of the race include FITniche, the Central Florida running store that brings its trailer to the race, setting up the world’s only clothing-optional shoe store.

Caliente is offering discounted hotel room rates for the event. Just call the Caliente reservations desk (813-996-3700 ext “0”) and mention promo code “5KRace.” Receive 20 percent off room rate and enjoy no day fees for Saturday and/or Sunday nights, Oct. 8-9. (Race starts at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9). Last year Caliente sold out well in advance of the race. Don’t miss out!

Register online via IMAthlete.com HERE.

Prefer a mail-in application? Download one HERE.

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First-Time Streaker

Going streaking!

(Editor’s Note: The following was submitted by a woman who ran the “Streak the Cove” 5K on May 22, 2011 at the Cypress Cove Resort. Registration is now open for the second-annual Streak the Cove 5K on May 20, 2012. The event is produced by Enterprise Media, LLC.)

By Margot

This had been my idea. I had convinced my boyfriend that it would be fun, non-sexual and a great way to launch his running career. But when we got there, I was the one acting like a giddy five year old as we pulled into our parking space and I took in the nudist experience.

Steve and the friends we rendezvoused at Kissimmee with were out of their clothes and waiting for me while I tried to adjust my attitude from nudist newbie to seasoned runner. Once undressed though, we were all the same.  There is something tremendously equalizing about being nude amongst the nude.

We had not preregistered for the inaugural “Streak the Cove” event so we hustled to the check- in table, wondered what to do with our keys and dissolved into the crowd out of about 152 runners while awaiting the start.

I was surprised to see so many runners in the under-30 age group, which race organizers attributed to an interview with an Orlando sports radio station prior to the event.  Other than that group, there was the usual mix of male (about 63%)  and female (about 37%)  attendees, mostly nude, a few dressed, one younger guy wearing a tie, his running shoes and nothing else.  At the head of the pack were serious runners, in position to maintain the lead. Not everyone here was in it just to be naked.

This was Steve’s first ever running event and he and I walked and ran around the double loop, getting a great view of mostly everyone as the past us. We had worried about flesh normally bound in spandex now flopping freely and decided early on this concern was unfounded. Running nude is exhilarating! This was, in fact, the most fun I had ever had at a sporting event ever.

Like most races the track was lined with enthusiastic supporters, only ours were nude.  The route took us through the residential area of Cypress Cove Nudist Resort which was generously shaded by oak trees.

Our goody bags included the usual assortment of upcoming sports events ads and coupons, as well as literature from the American Association for Nude Recreation which was actually very interesting. Also included was my now-favorite race giveaway – a bright red coolie cup with Cypress Cove in Coca Cola style lettering. I almost tossed it before I took a closer look. How clever!

We crossed the finished line practically, if not completely, dead last. The awards ceremony was held poolside and our race entry fee allowed us to stay at “The Cove” for the rest of the day. Female first place went to a 35-year-old Daytona woman who regularly wins nude running events and the male winner, who came in under 18 minutes left before the awards ceremony.

If there was an award for “had the most fun” Steve and I would have had to split it.

Interested? The next nude running event organized by Enterprise Media, LLC will be held October 9, 2011 at the Caliente Resort in Land O’Lakes, just north of Tampa. You can register HERE or find more information on the races at nuderaces.com.

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Orlando Sentinel Previews ‘Streak the Cove 5K’

By Pete Williams

Streaking the Cove

The Streak the Cove 5K, the clothing-optional run produced by Enterprise Media, LLC on Sunday, May 22 at the Cypress Cove nudist resort, continues to receive a slew of publicity.

In addition to last month’s coverage by Runner’s World online, Mike Bianchi of sports radio 740 AM “The Game” in Orlando interviewed us last week. Our YouTube promo video has received more than 12,000 hits. And now The Orlando Sentinel’s endurance sports blogger Wesley Alden has chimed in with a preview.

Ms. Alden is intrigued by the race.

“After more than a year of races, I’m so close to finding the perfect shirt, shorts, sports bra and underwear combination that won’t cause chafing during long runs,” she writes. “Now I realize that the minimalist approach may have been the answer all along: no clothes = no chafing.”

You can register for the event HERE.

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